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JAMES J. HAYS, hardware dealer, Polk, is a son of James and Eliza Hays, natives of Huntingdon and Venango counties, Pennsylvania, respectively. Samuel Hays, the grandfather of James J., was born in Ireland, came to the United States when seventeen years of age, and settled in Huntingdon county, this state. In 1835 he located in Plum township, Venango county, where he died about 1871, at the advanced age of ninety-five years. His son, James, was born in Huntingdon county, September 2, 1810, came to Venango county with his parents, and followed farming until his death August 18, 1884, aged, seventy- six years. His wife, Eliza (Gilliland) Hays, was a daughter of James and Eliza (McClaran) Gilliland. She was the mother of six children: David S.; Mrs. Sarah Hughes; Mrs. Mary Leason; James J.; Samuel, deceased, and William B., deceased.
James J. Hays was born in Plum township, Venango county, November 20, 1844. He spent his youth and early manhood on a farm, attended the common schools at intervals, and on attaining his majority engaged in agriculture, which he followed until 1884. In that year he abandoned farming and went into the lumber business at Polk, and three years later, February, 1888, opened a general hardware store which he still carries on successfully. He was married May 19, 1870, to Miss Rose, daughter of Adam and Ellen Carnahan, of this county, a union blessed with five children: Minnie, William B., George B., Harvey J., and James N. In politics Mr. Hays is a Democrat, and an active member of the I.O.O.F.